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The world class Salmon fishing British Columbia is known for lives up to its reputation. Chinook Salmon, the largest of the Pacific species, is just one out of five different kinds of Salmon you can hook into here. This bad boy is biting all year and can reach up to 60 lbs in size. Add to that a list of Coho, Sockeye, Chum, and Pink Salmon, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for unbeatable sport fishing.
When to fish for Salmon in British Columbia
The Salmon fishing BC yields each year is full of non-stop action. Every species has its own seasonality, but you can expect to hook into multiple kinds while fishing in summer and fall—when you will also find some of the largest specimens.
Chinook Salmon, also known locally as Spring Salmon, range from 3-60 lbs in size. Even in winter and spring, this fish is plentiful. Early in the year, you will find Chinook less than 10 miles from shore.
Chinook weighing more than 30 lbs are called “Tyees,” and they usually make an appearance in July and August. Tyees are known for putting up a spectacular fight, which makes this fish number-one on many bucket lists.
Despite the Chinook’s impressive reputation, the hardest fighting Salmon pound-for-pound is Coho (also called Silver Salmon). Die-hard light tackle fishing fans start targeting Coho in June, eager to witness his swift and acrobatic fighting power.
Coho Salmon stick around through October, when some specimens reach up to 10 lbs in size. At this time of year you can enter the Coho Derby for a chance to keep up to four Coho in a day.
In late summer and fall you can also enjoy fishing for Pink, Chum, and Sockeye Salmon (the last of these being the most delicious of all the BC varieties). These species see a much shorter season than Chinook and Coho. You can only fish for Pink Salmon in odd-number years.
While you are welcome to fish for Salmon at any time, you cannot always keep them. Keep an eye out for seasonal closures, size limits, and bag limits so you know what to expect before heading out on the water. You can learn more about different species and regulations online.
The BC Salmon Fishing Experience
You can enjoy excellent Salmon fishing in British Columbia no matter your travel plans or budget, from a remote getaway to a half day trip just minutes from the center of town.
Hardcore anglers can choose from dozens of BC Salmon fishing lodges, many accessible only by plane. These angler-centric resorts allow you to book a guided excursion in remote wilderness, where you will spend days on end reaping the rewards of British Columbia’s world class fishery.
If you plan on Salmon fishing in BC on a tighter budget, you’ll find no shortage of half day and full day charters on Vancouver Island. Fishing from Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Renfrew, Sooke, or Victoria gives you almost immediate access to the Strait of San Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean.
Set your sights on Campbell River for the best Salmon fishing Vancouver Island has in store. Located on the central-eastern coast of Vancouver Island, this “Salmon fishing capital” hosts all the local varieties, including Tyees when they’re in season.
BC Salmon Fishing Styles
The most common method of Salmon fishing in British Columbia is trolling. Depending on the species and the time of year, you might drag bait and lures close to the surface or deep troll in depths greater than 100 feet. Specific techniques and bait choices vary widely depending on where you fish.
You can target northern Coho in the fall using a fly rod to cast a lightly weighted bucktail 12-20 feet behind a moving boat. This method (known as “bucktailing”) combines saltwater fly fishing with trolling. You can also troll a weighted or unweighted streamer fly close to the surface. For best results, troll at 5-8 knots and keep an eye out for the wake from a charging fish.
British Columbia Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Seasons
What People Are Saying About Salmon (Chinook) Fishing in British Columbia
"An afternoon chinook fishing with Steve"
It was a beezy day, and although we found the bait fish where the salmon should be, we struggled to catch managing a couple of chinook and a couple of rockfish. This was slightly off season, but you couldn't fault the skipper's efforts and would use again
" Half-day with Captain Blake "
Weather was incredible and the fish were very cooperative. Our first time salmon fishing and captain Blake gave us a trip to remember!
"Full 8hr trip "
Jessy our guild new where the fish were and put us on them, we did great with salmon but currents were to fast for bottom fishing so we did not wast time for bottom fish Over all great trip, lots of good laughs and plenty of fresh fish in freezer
Top Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters in British Columbia
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